HL Deb 19 November 1946 vol 144 cc138-40

2.42 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, I do not know that it is really necessary for me to make any declaration of interest, but perhaps, for the sake of greater caution, I should say that I hold the appointment, the purely honorary appointment, of Patron of the London Trustee Savings Bank. The trustee savings banks have asked that legislation shall be introduced to give effect to certain requirements which have arisen in the course of their experience. Your Lordships will be aware that the trustee savings banks have been in operation for a period far longer than the Post Office Savings Bank. In deed, they have a respectable history stretching back for 150 years, and they have made a most valuable contribution to the Whole movement in favour of savings, as is indicated by the fact that to-day their deposits amount to some £500,000,000 and their accumulated surplus to about £16,000,000.

The legislation which we are anxious to see enacted relates to the internal administration of the trustee savings banks. They are governed by a long series of Statutes stretching over a long period of years. Under the Savings Banks Act of 1929 they were entitled to establish pensions for their employees on very much the same lines as Civil Service pensions. Those pensions were to be paid from the general funds, which were operated under the general supervision of the Committee of Inspection responsible to the Commissioners of the National Debt. The trustee savings banks are now anxious to have authority, which they have not hitherto possessed, to set aside special reserves for the purpose of ensuring these pensions. They are also anxious to have authority (which, again, they have not hitherto possessed) to establish contributory pensions schemes such as prevail amongst so many industrial and commercial institutions. There is also a minor point dealt with in the Bill. It is desired that if an employee of one trustee savings bank should move to another trustee savings bank he should be able, so to speak, to carry his rights with him. This Bill, as drafted, will give mobility to the employees' position. It will also include within its purview the staff of the Committee of Inspection and of the Trustee Savings Banks Association.

From what I have said so far, it will be seen that this is a question of assisting the trustee savings banks with certain legislative powers in relation to pensions. There is another matter, not directly related to that, for which it is desired that provision should be made. The trustee savings banks have power to create new branches, and to apply funds for that purpose; but they have no power to assist in the creation of new banks. Very often, in various parts of the country, for one reason or another, it is desirable that a new bank should be established, rather than a new branch of an existing bank. Power is sought for existing banks to be able to find money from their reserves for the creation of new trustee savings banks. This Bill, which follows legislation extending over many years, is rather complicated in character, but I have told your Lordships—I hope faithfully—its general purport. I am very ready, of course, to deal with the clauses, but unless your Lordships desire it I will content myself by moving that the Bill be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Nathan.)


My Lords, as far as we on these Benches are concerned, this Bill is completely non-controversial and, indeed, is a good measure. We are much obliged to the noble Lord for introducing it.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.